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Politician faces investigation over allegations of rule-breaking
A HIGH-profile Worcester politician is under investigation amid claims she used city council resources to promote the Labour Party, breaking rules at the Guildhall.
Councillor Lynn Denham, who sits in the decision-making cabinet, is facing an internal probe after sending a controversial letter to residents in the city centre.
Coun Denham is fighting proposals for a lap dancing club to open in The Butts, and has written to households on paper using an official city council letterhead.
The letter said she is being “helped” in her campaign by Adam Scott, a resident, and urges people to contact him if they share her worries.
The note says Mr Scott can “help residents draft letters” of objection and answer other questions.
What the letter did not say was that Mr Scott is a Labour party organiser and campaigner, as well as a former council candidate, having fought the St Peter’s seat at the county council elections in May.
He is also in line to stand again for Labour in next year’s city council elections in the Cathedral ward, which is a key battleground.
Mr Scott, a former town planner, has also been widely promoted as Labour’s community organiser in the city centre, giving him a key role.
Under the city council’s Code of Conduct, elected councillors are banned from using internal resources for political purposes. They are also barred from using their high-ranking positions to secure advantages for other people.
A complaint has now been made by a third party to the city council, which is duty bound to examine if she broke any rules.
Councillor Jabba Riaz, from Worcester Conservatives, who also represents the Cathedral ward, said: “From the electorate’s point of view, they want councillors to be open, transparent and honest.
“Is this the honesty and transparency they would expect?
“I am disappointed she has used public funds to promote the Labour Party.”
If found guilty, she could be censured by the authority and asked to apologise in a full council meeting, or be handed extra training.
A spokesman for Worcester City Council said the authority was not willing to comment, but Coun Denham has been told of the probe.
Coun Denham, cabinet member for customer services, said: “I’ve been informed that a complaint has been made and it’s an extremely early part of the process, but I will co-operate fully.
“I am not aware that I have failed to meet the standards required of an elected member of the authority and hope this is not a malicious smear campaign against me.”
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